Avoid Clinton’s Email Pitfalls
Chances are good that if you had even the slightest interest in the 2016 United States Presidential race, you are familiar with Hillary Clinton's email scandal and her alleged use of personal email accounts on a private server to conduct government business.
A flurry of accusations, testimonies, and new information continued to hover over Senator Clinton's campaign as she campaigned across the nation in the hopes of securing both the Democratic nomination, and eventually, the presidency.
But let's not go into details about the scandal and rather see what we can learn from it.
It's Not Just Hillary Clinton's Problem
Hillary Clinton's email woes made for big headlines, but it's amazing how many regular people make the same mistake of using personal email accounts for things, such as saving contacts or using business email accounts to shop on Amazon.
Even if you aren't a high-level government official, using a business email account for personal reasons, or using a personal one for the business is something that can result in:
- Identity theft
- Increase in spam email
- Or even prosecution!
If the reasons above aren't enough of a reason to keep things separate, it's important to do it anyways because situations change. After all, the chances are good that you will change jobs in the next five years. When you lose access to your business email account during a job transition, imagine how much more stressful that can be when you lose important contacts and emails at the same time.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Clinton Email Scandal
So, how can you make sure you don't end up like Senator Clinton? It's actually very simple: Use more accounts. In fact, you can go beyond preventing disastrous consequences to transforming email into a productive and valuable tool.
How to Use Business Email Accounts
By this point, you probably already see the value in keeping these accounts strictly focused on anything having to do with communications in your business. But, what about the other ways you use your business email accounts? Just to name a few:
- Newsletter Reply Addresses
- New Business Inquiries
There may be dozens of different ways you use your business email beyond just sending your standard message. Probably, too many uses to justify making or requesting separate accounts for each. Instead, it's best to group the types of messages, announcements, newsletters, receipts, updates, and any other kind of emails you receive by how important that kind of communication is to you, and how immediately it might need your attention.
Grouping business emails by purpose
Begin by going through your inbox and looking at each sender and asking if the account you are receiving the messages from is appropriate. For example, if an email has to do with something personal, you don't want it to be sent to your business account.
Then, decide how important the emails from this source are likely to be to you, or how urgently they might require your attention. For instance, you may want your co-workers to be able to contact you immediately. However, you might not give email announcements from different services you use in your business the same kind of urgency for your attention.
Types of accounts for business email
To begin, we recommend three categories:
- Active: communication requiring your immediate attention
- Passive: communication requiring your attention eventually
- Accounts: credentials, and communication not requiring your attention
Creating and using separate accounts for these three account types at work allows you to prioritize those messages that need your immediate attention while filtering out those that are less important for a later date. It also empowers you to effectively assess information from 3rd party services and tools that you subscribe to at a more convenient time.
If any newsletters or emails coming from accounts are something you would like to continue receiving, simply unsubscribe from them in your business account and re-subscribe with your personal one. That way, you won't have to start from scratch if you leave your job, and everything remains separated.
Personal Email Accounts
There might be even more accounts for personal use, but it can often be extremely difficult to remember them. This is especially true if your account is old and you might get emails from different sources including:
Again, just as with your business email accounts, you should think about how you want these emails to arrive and segment them according to urgency. Then, using a free email service like Gmail, Yahoo, or another of the many free options available online, create accounts for each segment. To keep things easy, you might try names, such as:
Whatever helps you remember when to use each one.
Of course, you don't want to have to get all your contacts to update your email in their address books, so it's best to keep all direct/important communications in the account you use now and work on moving all the other communications out of that account to these newly created ones.
Other Lessons to Learn from the Clinton Email Investigation
Another thing that you need to learn from Hillary Clinton's email scandal is to make your way through each message and update that sender to use the appropriate email address. This can mean updating email and notification preferences, replying directly with the request, or even creating automated rules in your client to forward the message automatically.
Also, this would be a great time to unsubscribe from anything you don't want to see come through your inbox. This process may take some time initially. However, as long as you use your email accounts as suggested in this post, you should never have to sort through them again.
Don't forget Hillary Clinton's email predicament, and keep an eye out for any communications which belong in your business account's inbox.
Becoming an Email Account Management Master
If you want to go beyond separating your personal and professional email accounts and begin to really master how you manage your communications, you need a great email client. Look for one that gives you the ability to apply labels, change notification settings, and includes options like snooze, and is designed for multi-account management.
For Windows users — and yes, we are definitely biased here — Mailbird is a great choice as it is totally built around our current email predicaments that we all experience today. Do what you need to do to take control of your emails, and use Mailbird to set notifications for each of your accounts.
When you do this, you can be sure to get notified for things like when your sister needs help with her upcoming move, while also eliminating unnecessary interruptions like your local deli announcing that they are having a sale. Tag emails in your different accounts for even greater control over email alerts and their importance.
With the right email client, a little time and some determination, you can be sure to never fall under the same scrutiny and repeat Hillary Clinton's email scandal. The Clinton email investigation has been a very long process and valuable learning opportunity. Most importantly is that you finally gain control over how people contact you and reach that much needed Inbox Bliss.
If you'd like to give Mailbird a try, please go ahead and download it for free. As a special bonus, and to help you become a true email ninja, here is a coupon you can use for 33% Off Mailbird Pro for an entire year. Just visit our pricing page, select "Get Pro" and apply the coupon code "MB-SPECIAL33" in the coupon field at checkout. Otherwise, click below to give Mailbird a try.
What is the Hillary Clinton email scandal?
During her tenure as United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private email server for official work and correspondence rather than using official State Department email accounts maintained on secure federal servers.
How many emails did Hillary Clinton send?
She sent a total of twenty-two emails from her personal account. These emails were top state secrets and sending them through a private server put the national security at risk.
How do you master an email?
To become an email master you need to use an email client. One of the top options is Mailbird. You can use it to manage all emails from all your accounts and master the email management.